India had about 6.4 million Covid-19 infections by early May, reveals serosurvey

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September 11, 2020

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New Delhi, Sept 11: The much-awaited findings of the first national serosurvey conducted by the ICMR, published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, indicate that 0.73 per cent adults in India were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 amounting to a total of 6.4 million infections by early May.

The survey was conducted from May 11 to June 4 and covered 28,000 individuals whose blood samples were tested for IgG antibodies using Covid Kavach ELISA kit.

Also, seropositivity was the highest in the age group of 18-45 years (43.3 per cent), followed by those between 46-60 years (39.5 per cent) and it was the lowest among those aged above 60 (17.2 per cent).

It's estimated that there were a total of 64,68,388 adult infections in India by early May, the survey report said.

"The findings of our survey indicated that the overall seroprevalence in India was low, with less than one per cent of the adult population exposed to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-May 2020.

"The low prevalence observed in most districts indicates that India is in early phase of the epidemic and the majority of the Indian population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection," the survey report stressed.

It highlighted the need to continue to implement context-specific containment measures including testing of all symptomatics, isolating positive cases and tracing high-risk contacts to slow down transmission and prevent overburdening of the health system.

Males living in urban slums and with occupations involving high risk of exposure to potentially infected persons were associated with seropositivity.

According to the survey report, seroprevalence ranged between 0.62 and 1.03 per cent across the four strata of districts.

The stratification of districts as zero cases (15 districts), low (22 districts), medium (16) and high (17) was done on the basis of the reported number of Covid-19 cases as on April 25.

Based on the overall adjusted seroprevalence of 0.73 per cent and reported number of Covid-19 cases, it was estimated that for every RT-PCR confirmed case of Covid-19 there were 82-130 infections in India.

As part of the survey, a total of 30,283 households were visited from 700 clusters in 70 districts across the four strata. About one-fourth (25.9 per cent) of the surveyed clusters were from urban areas. A total of 28,000 individuals consented to participate, the report stated.

Nearly half (48.5 per cent) of the participants were aged between 18 and 45 and 51.5 per cent (14,390) were females. In all, 18.7 per cent of the participants had an occupation with a high risk of exposure to potentially infected persons.

The survey noted that there could be under-detection of Covid-19 cases in the zero stratum districts on account of low testing as well as poor access to testing laboratories.

In four of the 15 districts in this stratum, Covid-19 testing laboratories were not available in the district headquarters and the samples were transported to the state headquarter hospitals for diagnosis.

The present findings of seropositivity in the strata of districts with zero to low incidence of Covid-19 cases underscores the need to strengthen surveillance and augment the testing of suspected cases in these areas, the survey report said.

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Agencies
October 22,2020

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Thane, Oct 22: At least 25 people were injured when lightning struck a residential area at a village in Maharashtra's Thane district, an official said on Thursday.

During heavy rains in Thane on Wednesday evening, lightning stuck Palaspada hamlet in Umbarmali village under Sahapur taluka around 7 pm, regional disaster management cell chief Santosh Kadam said.

A house in the locality was completely destroyed while some adjoining houses also suffered damages, he said.

"At least 25 people, including women and children, were injured due to the lightning strike and were rushed to the Sahapur rural hospital," Kadam said.

Their condition was reported to be stable, Thane's resident deputy collector Dr Shivaji Patil said.

Sahapur MLA Daulat Daroda visited the injured people in the hospital late Wednesday night.

Heavy rains along with thunder and lightning were experienced in Thane and neighbouring areas on Wednesday evening.

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Agencies
October 24,2020

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Kashmir, Oct 24: National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), which is fighting for restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is an anti-BJP platform but not an anti-national amalgam.

"I want to tell you that this false propaganda by the BJP that the PAGD is anti-national. I want to tell them that this is not true. There is no doubt that it is anti-BJP but it is not anti-national," he told reporters here.

The Lok Sabha member from Srinagar was elected chairman of the PAGD after the first meeting of the amalgam at the residence of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

Abdullah said the BJP has tried to break the federal structure through acts like the abrogation of Article 370 and dividing Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories.

"They have tried to destroy the constitution of the country, they have tried to divide the nation, to break the federal structure which we saw what they did on August 5 last year,” the NC president said.

"I want to tell them that this (PAGD) is not an anti-national jamaat. Our aim is that people of Jammu Kashmir, and Ladakh should get their rights back. That's where our battle is, our battle is not for more than that," he said.

Abdullah said the BJP was doing propaganda against the constituents of the PAGD in Jammu and elsewhere in the country.

"They are trying to divide us (people of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh) in the name of religion. This attempt will not succeed. This is not a religious battle, this is a fight for our identity and for that identity, we are standing together," he said. 

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October 26,2020

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Mangaluru, Oct 26: Royal Bengal Tiger ‘Vikram’, the star attraction of Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park at Pilikula on the outskirts of Mangaluru, died today due to age-related illness. He was 21.

Vikram was among the first lot of tigers to arrive at this park managed by from the Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari in Shivamogga in 2003. He was just 4-year-old.

According to Park Director H Jayaprakash Bhandary, Vikram had fathered ‘Kadamba’ ‘Krishna’ ‘Vinaya’ ‘Oliver’ ‘Akshay’ ‘Manju’ ‘Amar’ ‘Akbar’ ‘Antony’ and Nisha during its life-span. These cubs have found new homes at zoos in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Mysuru.

Bhandary said that Vikram was confined to treatment for the last two months and was under treatment with drips and supplements.

 “Vikram had stopped eating food for the last week. He was also suffering from a kidney-related ailment and lack of sight. The tiger was cremated and tissue samples have been sent to a lab in Bengaluru,” he added.

While tigers on an average live for 16 to 18-years in zoos, Vikram, the third tiger to die at the park lived for 21-years. Raja and Sharavathi, other two big cats to pre-decease Vikram also lived for more than two-decades.

All three tigers succumbed to age-related illness. The loss of Vikram is painful in that it was among the most visible and spotted Tiger in the enclosure, Bhandary said.

 

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